Archives de catégorie : biology+acidification

Extensive hake (fish) skeletal remains in ocean waters too cold for this species to occupy today suggest past ocean temperatures were several degrees warmer.

by Wheeland & Morgan, July 2020 in NoTricksZone


Fish habitats are limited by specific temperature boundaries. In a new study, for example,  Wheeland  and Morgan (2020) found there was a pronounced ocean warming from the 1980s to late 1990s off the coasts of Greenland. This temperature shift changed the distribution of halibut habitat. Since then, however, there has been no net warming in the study region (through 2016).

When Exposed To Natural, Long-Term Extreme ‘Ocean Acidification’, Coral And Urchin ‘Persist’ And Even ‘Thrive’

by K. Richard, June 29, 2020 in NoTricksZone


Marine species subjected to high CO2 extremes – 8,891 to 95,000 ppm – in their natural environments may not be adversely affected. They may even “thrive”.

Earlier this year we highlighted a study that says coral reefs “thrive” near seafloor volcanic vents where CO2 concentrations reach 60,000 to 95,000 ppm.

Urchins basking in volcanic vent streams of 8,891 ppm CO2 and daily CO2 variations of more than 2,000 ppm as well as day-to-day pH fluctuations ranging from 6.9 (“acidification”) to 8.1…grow more than two times faster than nearby control (stable 394 ppm CO2, 8.1 pH) urchins (Uthicke et al., 2016).

CO2 Not A Threat To Oceans

by Dr. J. Lehr, June 26, 2020 in ClimateChangDispatch


For the past three decades, the public has been taught by the news media and the folks who make a living composing mathematical equations they claim to simulate how our planet’s climate operates, that our oceans are in jeopardy.

They have all told you one of the biggest falsehoods in human history.

They say that carbon dioxide, the only reason man can inhabit Earth, is causing the planet to heat up to a dangerous level and the oceans will become unlivable for marine life.

There is no proof of these lies whatever. Civilization has generally been most prosperous under warmer than colder conditions.

The Ocean acidificationfrom carbon dioxide emissions preached by the scaremongers would require an impossible ten-fold decrease in the alkalinity of surface waters.

Even if atmospheric CO2 concentrations triple from todays four percent of one percent, which would take about 600 years, todays surface pH of 8.2 would plateau at 7.8, still well above neutral 7.

Ocean health has improved as a result of greater CO2, as it feeds phytoplankton that stimulates the ocean’s food chain.

CO2 allows phytoplankton such as algae, bacteria, and seaweed to feed the rest of the open ocean food chain. As carbon dioxide moves through this food web, much of it sinks or is transported away from the surface.

A high surface pH allows the ocean to store 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere. Digestion of carbon at lower depths allows for storage there for centuries.

Study: As Sea Levels Rise, Island ‘Drowning’ Is Not Inevitable

by A. Williams, June12, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Coral reef islands across the world could naturally adapt to survive the impact of rising sea levels, according to new research.

The increased flooding caused by the changing global climate has been predicted to render such communities – where sandy or gravel islands sit on top of coral reef platforms – uninhabitable within decades.

However, an international study led by the University of Plymouth (UK) suggests that perceived fate is far from a foregone conclusion.

The research, published in Science Advances, for the first time uses numerical modeling of island morphology alongside physical model experiments to simulate how reef islands – which provide the only habitable land in atoll nations – can respond when sea levels rise.

Podcast: Why the Oceans Really Aren’t “Acidifying” but the Term Is Being Abused by Science and Media

by A. Watts, June 11, 2020 in WUWT


Science and media outlets claim ocean acidification is happening due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But objective data show the ocean is far from acidic according to Dr. Caleb Rossiter, executive director of the CO2 Coalition and a statistician who has studied climate change closely.

Host Anthony Watts and Rossiter talk about how a pH of 7 is considered neutral, with anything below 7 considered acidic. Ocean pH averages 8.1, which is alkaline rather than acidic. Although climate models suggest the ocean’s surface pH may have dropped from pH 8.2 to 8.1 since 1750, that change was never actually measured.

The pH drop from 1850 is merely a modeled conjecture. The concept of pH was first introduced by in 1909, and agriculturalists first developed field instruments to measure pH in the 1930s.

Tiny plankton drive processes in the ocean that capture twice as much carbon as scientists though

by K. Buesseler, May 2020 in TheConversion


The big idea

The ocean plays a major role in the global carbon cycle. The driving force comes from tiny plankton that produce organic carbon through photosynthesis, like plants on land.

When plankton die or are consumed, a set of processes known as the biological carbon pump carries sinking particles of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean in a process known as marine snowfall. Naturalist and writer Rachel Carson called it the “most stupendous snowfall on Earth.”

Some of this carbon is consumed by sea life, and a portion is chemically broken down. Much of it is carried to deep waters, where it can remain for hundreds to thousands of years. If the deep oceans didn’t store so much carbon, the Earth would be even warmer than it is today.

What still isn’t known

Our study reveals that scientists need to use using a more systematic approach to defining the ocean’s vertical boundaries for organic carbon production and loss. This finding is timely, because the international oceanographic community is calling for more and better studies of the biological carbon pump and the ocean twilight zone.

The twilight zone could be profoundly affected if nations seek to develop new midwater fisheries, mine the seafloor for minerals or use it as a dumping ground for waste. Scientists are forming a collaborative effort called the Joint Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network, or JETZON, to set research priorities, promote new technologies and better coordinate twilight zone studies.

To compare these studies, researchers need a common set of metrics. For the biological carbon pump, we need to better understand how big this flow of carbon is, and how efficiently it is transported into deeper water for long-term storage. These processes will affect how Earth responds to rising greenhouse gas emissions and the warming they cause.

Reefs’ Neon Colors A Defense Against Coral Bleaching

by B. Bruno,  May 22, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Some coral reefs are adapting to warming ocean temperatures by making their own sunscreen in the form of bright neon colors — a strategy that invites coral animals to return to reefs and is seen as a critical adaptation to maintain healthy coral reefs around the world.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, researchers at the University of Southampton detail a series of controlled laboratory experiments they conducted at their coral aquarium facility.

In the experiments, “colorful” coral bleaching events cause coral to produce a layer of vibrant sunscreen which encourages the coral animals vital to a mutually beneficial “symbiosis” relationship to return to coral habitats they abandon due to the effects of warming oceans.

The colorful adaptation could prove vital for overcoming the fatal coral bleaching incidents that have threatened coral reefs worldwide.

But the colorful coral bleaching – rather than the white skeleton exposure of common coral bleaching events – is believed to take place due to mild ocean warming or disturbances in their nutrient environment, rather than extreme events.

Colorful bleaching occurred between this past March and April in some areas of the Great Barrier Reef, suggesting some patches of the world’s largest reef system may have better recovery prospects than others.

Influence of landscape structure on local and regional climate

by RA. Pielke and R. Avissar, 1990 in LandscapeEcology


Abstract

This paper discusses the physical linkage between the surface and the atmosphere, and demonstrates how even slight changes in surface conditions can have a pronounced effect on weather and climate. Observational and modeling evidence are presented to demonstrate the influence of landscape type on the overlying atmospheric conditions. The albedo, and the fractional partitioning of atmospheric turbulent heat flux into sensible and latent fluxes is shown to be particularly important in directly affecting local and regional weather and climate. It is concluded that adequate assessment of global climate and climate change cannot be achieved unless mesoscale landscape characteristics and their changes over time can be accurately determined.

Coral Catastrophes Imagined

by Jennifer, April 10, 2020 in WUWT


From Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog

April 10, 2020 By jennifer

Exactly one year ago yesterday, I was getting off a train in Proserpine, looking to pickup a hire car to drive to Bowen. I wanted to know if the coral there was all dead, or not. Bowen is a coastal town in North Queensland, not far from Abbott Point that is the coal terminal for the controversial Adani coal mine.

Judge Salvador Vasta had earlier that week handed down his findings regarding the sacking of Peter Ridd. He had exonerated Ridd and explained that James Cook University had wrongly sacked him.

Some claim that it all came to a sorry end for Ridd because he dared to question the consensus of scientific opinion concerning the health of the Great Barrier Reef – particularly the impact of global warming. The university claimed it was because he had become ‘un-collegial’ and did not follow various directives while disclosing confidential information.

These issues were argued in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane a month earlier, in March 2019. Very few people realized that at the heart of the case were a couple of what might be best described as fake-news photographs promoted by Terry Hughes.

This is the same Terry Hughes who is now claiming that 60%* of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached, and that this is an extraordinary catastrophe for which we should all be ashamed.

If Peter Ridd had become un-collegial and disclosed confidential information, it was because he was fed-up with the fake news. As Ridd wrote in chapter 1 of the book that I edited three years ago, a chapter entitled ‘The Extraordinary Resilience of Great Barrier Reef Corals, and Problems with Policy Science’:

New Study: Coral Reefs Thrive Near Acidic Waters (pH ~6.0) Where Seafloor Vents Emit Up To 95,000 ppm CO2

by K. Richard, March 30, 2020 in NoTricksZone


Though it’s believed the 130 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1750 has caused the ocean waters to “acidify”, on a daily basis 50-380°C metallic acid enriched by CO2 concentrations reaching 60,000 to 95,000 ppm pours through seafloor vents. Nearby coral reefs “thrive” in these high-CO2 conditions.

50 times more CO2 in the oceans than in the atmosphere

Though many believe humans are “acidifying” the oceans by burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2, the ability of humans to impact the oceanic CO2 concentration is already compromised by the observation that the ocean waters contain about 50 times more CO2 (38,000 vs. 750 PgC) than the atmosphere does (North et al., 2014).

Coral tells own tale about El Niño’s past

by Rice University, March 27, 2020 in WUWT


HOUSTON – (March 26, 2020) – There is no longer a need to guess what ocean temperatures were like in the remote tropical Pacific hundreds of years ago. The ancient coral that lived there know all.

A study in Science led by Rice University and Georgia Tech researchers parses the record archived by ancient tropical Pacific coral over the past millennium. That record could help scientists refine their models of how changing conditions in the Pacific, particularly from volcanic eruptions, influence the occurrence of El Niño events, which are major drivers of global climate.

They found the ratio of oxygen isotopes sequestered in coral, an accurate measure of historic ocean temperatures, shows no correlation between estimates of sulfate particles ejected into the atmosphere by tropical volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.

That result could be of particular interest to scientists who suggest seeding the atmosphere with sun-blocking particles may help reverse global warming.

According to Rice climate scientist and primary author Sylvia Dee, previous climate model studies often tie volcanic eruptions, which increase sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere, to increased chances for an El Niño event. But the ability to analyze climate conditions based on oxygen isotopes trapped in fossil corals extends the climatological record in this key region across more than 20 ancient eruptions. Dee said this allows for a more rigorous test of the connection.

“A lot of climate modeling studies show a dynamical connection where volcanic eruptions can initiate El Niño events,” Dee said. “We can run climate models many centuries into the past, simulating volcanic eruptions for the last millennium.

“But the models are just that — models — and the coral record captures reality.”

Coral data that Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb and her team arduously collected on trips to the Pacific show little connection between known volcanoes and El Niño events over that time. Like tree rings, these paleoclimate archives hold chemical indicators, the oxygen isotopes, of oceanic conditions at the time they formed.

The coral data yields a high-fidelity record with a resolution of less than a month, tracking the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the heart of the central tropical Pacific.

Climate At A Glance Factchecks–Coral Reefs

by P. Homewood, March 21, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


Bullet Point Summary:

  • Coral thrive in warm water, not cold water.
  • Recent warming has allowed coral to expand their range poleward, while still thriving near the equator.
  • Coral has existed continuously for the past 40 million years, surviving temperatures and carbon dioxide levels significantly higher than what is occurring today.
  • The primary causes of coral bleaching include oxybenzone (a chemical found in sunscreen), sediment runoff from nearby coastal lands, and cold temperatures like those recorded in 2010 off the Florida coast.
  •  

Short Summary: Coral require warm water, not cold water, to live. Coral cannot live outside of tropical or subtropical waters. (See Figure 1.) As Earth continues to modestly warm, coral are extending their range toward the poles while still thriving at and near the equator. The primary reasons for bleaching events include sediment pollution from nearby coastal lands, chemicals found in sunscreen, and cold temperature events. Coral have existed continuously for the past 40 million years. Coral survived and thrived when temperatures were significantly warmer than they are today.

Figure 1: Coral Reef Locations

Continuer la lecture de Climate At A Glance Factchecks–Coral Reefs

Study: No Evidence Ocean Acidification Harms Coral Reef Fish Behavior

by C. Idso, March10, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Paper Reviewed: Clark, T.D., Raby, G.D., Roche, D.G., Binning, S.A., Speers-Roesch, B., Jutfelt, F. and Sundin, J. 2020. Ocean acidification does not impair the behavior of coral reef fishes. Nature 577: 370-375.

In an incredibly important and revealing paper published in the journal Nature, Clark et al. (2020) write that “establishing a robust and independently replicated database of the effects of ocean acidification on fishes is essential to gain a reliable understanding of the consequences of climate change on marine ecosystems.”

Such a database, they add, is critical “before drawing broad conclusions and implementing management measures.”

Unfortunately, too many have been far too eager to jump to conclusions when it comes to estimating the impacts of ocean acidification.

And in this regard, Clark et al. note that “a number of highly publicized studies have reported detrimental effects of elevated CO2 levels on the sensory systems and behaviors of fishes, with coral reef fishes appearing to be the most sensitive despite experiencing large daily and seasonal fluctuations in nature (for example, 100-1,300 µatm).”

Such projected detrimental effects include “alterations in olfaction, hearing, vision, learning, behavioral lateralization, activity levels, boldness, anxiety, and susceptibility to predation,” which have led to “dire predictions for fish populations and marine ecosystems.”

But how solid is this body of research?

Clark et al. note there are two important red flags that call the pessimistic ocean acidification projections of fish into question.

Fungal decisions can affect climate

by American Society of Agronomy, January 31, 2020 in WUWT


But fungi don’t just release carbon. They can also store it. For example, environmental stress can cause fungi to strengthen their cell walls. They do so by using organic compounds that contain carbon. These carbon compounds can stay in soils for years to decades or even longer.

“We found that where drought stress increased, the amount of fungi that invested more in strengthening cell walls and less in decomposition tended to increase,” says Treseder. In contrast, in more moderate conditions, the reverse occurred. Fungi that decomposed more efficiently became more common.

These findings suggest that fungi might store more carbon as global climate becomes more extreme. On the other hand, they might release more carbon dioxide in moderate climates. “These opposing feedbacks would not have been apparent without examining trade-offs among fungal traits,” says Treseder.

The Solution To Dissolution

by Willis Eschenbach, January 31, 2020 in WUWT


The British tabloid “The Guardian” has a new scare story about what is wrongly called “ocean acidification”. It opens as follows:


Pacific Ocean’s rising acidity causes Dungeness crabs’ shells to dissolve

Acidity is making shells of crab larvae more vulnerable to predators and limiting effectiveness in supporting muscle growth

 

The Pacific Ocean is becoming so acidic it is starting to dissolve the shells of a key species of crab, according to a new US study.


Sounds like the end of times, right? So let me start with a simple fact. The ocean is NOT acidic. Nor will it ever become acidic, except in a few isolated locations. It is alkaline, also called “basic”. The level of acidity/alkalinity is expressed on the “pH” scale, where neutral is 7.0, alkaline is from 7 to 14, and acidic is from 0 to 7.

Figure 1. The pH scale, running from the most acid at the bottom, through neutral in the middle, and up to the most alkaline at the top.

From the chart, the ocean has a pH of around 8 (although as we’ll see, that conceals great variation).

 

DEEP DIVING SCIENTISTS DISCOVER “SODA SPRINGS” — AN UNDERWATER ENVIRONMENT WHERE HIGH CO2 CONCENTRATIONS (UP TO 95,000 PPM) BUBBLE-UP FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR

by Cap Allon, January 27, 2020 in Electroverse


University of Texas at Austin Professor, Bayani Cardenas, has discovered an underwater environment of bubbling carbon dioxide with readings some 200x the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Cardenas discovered the region –which he calls “Soda Springs”– while studying how groundwater from a nearby island could affect the ocean environment of the Verde Island Passage in the Philippines. The passage is one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world and is home to thriving coral reefs.

The amazing bubbling location, which Cardenas captured on video, is not a climate change nightmare, reads part of the press release issued by utexas.edu on Jan 22, 2020. It is instead linked to a nearby volcano that vents out the gases through cracks in the ocean floor, and has probably been doing so for decades or even millennia.

Continuer la lecture de DEEP DIVING SCIENTISTS DISCOVER “SODA SPRINGS” — AN UNDERWATER ENVIRONMENT WHERE HIGH CO2 CONCENTRATIONS (UP TO 95,000 PPM) BUBBLE-UP FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR

IPCC Expert’s 8 Discredited Papers

by Donna Laframboise, January 12, 2020 in BigPicturesNews


Philip Munday’s work falls to pieces whenever someone tries to verify it.

Last week, Nature published a damning refutation of a significant body of climate change research. The title of that article is self-explanatory: Ocean acidification does not impair the behaviour of coral reef fishes.

The authors studied more than 900 fish from six different species over a period of three years, attempting to verify earlier findings by a team of researchers at Australia’s James Cook University. Their attempts failed.

Scholarly convention being what it is, the now-discredited work isn’t identified in a clear manner. Readers are compelled to sift through footnotes to locate the “several high-profile papers” that are being refuted. So here they are:

….

Continuer la lecture de IPCC Expert’s 8 Discredited Papers

Ocean acidification a big problem — but not for coral reef fish behavior

by Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Jan. 9, 2020 in WUWT


A three-year, comprehensive study of the effects of ocean acidification challenges previous reports that a more acidic ocean will negatively affect coral reef fish behaviour.

The study, conducted by an international coalition led by scientists from Australia and Norway, showed that coral reef fish exposed to CO2 at levels expected by the end of the century did not change their activity levels or ability to avoid predators.

“Contrary to previous studies, we have demonstrated that end-of-century CO2 levels have a negligible impact on the behaviour and sensory systems of coral reef fish,” said Timothy Clark, the lead author of the study and an associate professor at Deakin University in Australia.

Although this is good news on its own, ocean acidification and global warming remain a major problem for coral reefs, the researchers said. Ocean acidification is a problem for creatures that rely on calcium carbonate to make shells and skeletons, such as coral reef organisms, while higher ocean temperatures lead to coral bleaching and death.

..

The Corals That Don’t Exist

by Donna Laframboise, November 18, 2019 in BigPictureNews


In December 2015 Peter Ridd, then a physics professor at Australia’s James Cook University, contacted a journalist. Researchers affiliated with his own institution, he said, were misleading the public about the Great Barrier Reef.

As an example, Ridd cited photos taken approximately 100 years apart near Bowen, a community of 10,000 on the Australian coast in the vicinity of the Reef. These photos tell a stark story: previously vibrant coral expanses are now desolate wastelands.

Ridd complained that this pair of photos was spreading across the Internet. They were appearing in official reports and news stories. Even though the 1995 paper in which they’d first been published had cautioned against viewing them as evidence the Reef was in “broad scale decline,” that’s exactly how they were being used.

Ridd supplied the journalist with recent photos from the same area. These showed healthy, abundant coral.

CRYING WOLF OVER THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

by Peter Ridd, August 12, 2019 in GWPF


The scare stories about the Great Barrier Reef started in the 1960’s when scientist first started work on the reef. They have been crying wolf ever since.

Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures. It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking. To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks like carelessness, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

It is a well-known phenomenon that corals can adapt very rapidly to high temperatures and that if you heat corals in one year, they tend to be less susceptible in future years to overheating. It is the reason why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or from human influence.

STRANGE CORAL SPAWNING IMPROVING GREAT BARRIER REEF’S RESILIENCE

by University of Queensland, August 7, 2019 in GWPF


The discovery was made by University of Queensland and CSIRO researchers investigating whether corals that split their spawning over multiple months are more successful at spreading their offspring across different reefs.

Dr Karlo Hock, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences, said coral mass spawning events are one of the most spectacular events in the oceans.

“They’re incredibly beautiful,” Dr Hock said.

“On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, all coral colonies typically spawn only once per year, over several nights after the full moon, as the water warms up in late spring.”

Study co-author Dr Christopher Doropoulos from the CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere said sometimes however, coral split their spawning over two successive months.

“This helps them synchronise their reproduction to the best environmental conditions and moon phases,” he said.

“While reproductive success during split spawning may be lower than usual because it can lead to reduced fertilisation, we found that the release of eggs in two separate smaller events gives the corals a second and improved chance of finding a new home reef.”

The research team brought together multi-disciplinary skills in modelling, coral biology, ecology, and oceanography, simulating the dispersal of coral larvae during these split spawning events, among the more than 3800 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef.

Thirty years of unique data reveal what’s really killing coral reefs

by P. Homewood, July 24, 201 in NotatLotofPeopleKnowThat


Coral reefs are considered one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet and are dying at alarming rates around the world. Scientists attribute coral bleaching and ultimately massive coral death to a number of environmental stressors, in particular, warming water temperatures due to climate change.

A study published in the international journal Marine Biology, reveals what’s really killing coral reefs. With 30 years of unique data from Looe Key Reef in the lower Florida Keys, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and collaborators have discovered that the problem of coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from multiple sources.

Improperly treated sewage, fertilizers and top soil are elevating nitrogen levels, which are causing phosphorus starvation in the corals, reducing their temperature threshold for “bleaching.” These coral reefs were dying off long before they were impacted by rising water temperatures. This study represents the longest record of reactive nutrients and algae concentrations for coral reefs anywhere in the world.

“Our results provide compelling evidence that nitrogen loading from the Florida Keys and greater Everglades ecosystem caused by humans, rather than warming temperatures, is the primary driver of coral reef degradation at Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area during our long-term study,” said Brian Lapointe, Ph.D., senior author and a research professor at FAU’s Harbor Branch.

 

 

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-years-unique-reveal-coral-reefs.html

 

There is the usual armwaving about climate change, but no evidence is presented as to why a small increase in CO2 levels should have the slightest effect on water temperatures or coral development, when the climate has been much warmer for most of the period since the end of the ice age.

As is usually the case with environmental degradation and species decline, it is the obvious factors which are responsible.

What’s really killing the Coral Reefs?

by Carly Cassella, July 20, 2019 in WUWT


Coral reefs are one of the most threatened ecosystems on our planet, and in the past two decades alone, half of the coral in Florida has died off completely. Global warming is known to be a deadly factor, but rising ocean temperatures are only part of the story.

Thirty years of research in the Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area (LKSPA) on the southern tip of the Florida Keys has now revealed the cost of a devastating threat to coral that rivals even climate change: direct human pollution.

For years, agricultural run-off and improperly treated sewage have flowed into Florida’s ocean waters from the northern Everglades, elevating the sanctuary’s nitrogen levels and lowering the reef’s temperature threshold for bleaching, researchers say.

As a result of this deadly combination, coral cover in the region has declined from nearly 33 percent in 1984 to less than 6 percent in 2008.

In their analysis, the authors found that three mass bleaching events that occurred during these years only happened after heavy rainfall and increased land-based runoffs. In other words, if we can reduce the amount of local pollution that makes its way into our oceans, we might be able to reduce the worst of the damage.

Klein & Orlando, Bulletin of Marine Science, 1994

New Study Reveals True Cause Of Coral Bleaching (And It’s Not Global Warming)

by Brook Hays, July 16, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Corals are disappearing across the world’s oceans, and most scientists have pointed to warming water temperatures — the result of climate change — as the primary driver.

But new research suggests nitrogen pollution is the main cause of coral bleaching in Florida.

The study, published this week in the journal Marine Biology, was compiled using the three-decades worth of observational data collected at the Looe Key Reef in the lower Florida Keys.

“Our results provide compelling evidence that nitrogen loading from the Florida Keys and greater Everglades ecosystem caused by humans, rather than warming temperatures, is the primary driver of coral reef degradation at Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area,” lead study author Brian Lapointe, research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, said in a news release.

Data collected at the test site showed nutrient runoff has boosted the nitrogen-phosphorus ratio in reef algae.

As more and more treated sewage and fertilizers from commercial farms rinse into local waterways and flood the oceans with nutrients, including reactive nitrogen, corals are unable to absorb sufficient levels of phosphorous.

“Our results provide compelling evidence that nitrogen loading from the Florida Keys and greater Everglades ecosystem caused by humans, rather than warming temperatures, is the primary driver of coral reef degradation at Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area,” lead study author Brian Lapointe, research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, said in a news release.

How deep-ocean vents fuel massive phytoplankton blooms

by Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, June 5, 2019 in WUWT


More “settled science” of the carbon cycle~ctm

Stanford study shows how hydrothermal vents fuel massive phytoplankton blooms — and possible hotspots for carbon storage

Researchers at Stanford University say they have found an aquatic highway that lets nutrients from Earth’s belly sweep up to surface waters off the coast of Antarctica and stimulate explosive growth of microscopic ocean algae.

Their study, published June 5 in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that hydrothermal vents – openings in the seafloor that gush scorching hot streams of mineral-rich fluid – may affect life near the ocean’s surface and the global carbon cycle more than previously thought.

Mathieu Ardyna, a postdoctoral scholar and the study’s lead author, said the research provides the first observed evidence of iron from the Southern Ocean’s depths turning normally anemic surface waters into hotspots for phytoplankton – the tiny algae that sustain the marine food web, pull heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the air and produce a huge amount of the oxygen we breathe. “Our study shows that iron from hydrothermal vents can well up, travel across hundreds of miles of open ocean and allow phytoplankton to thrive in some very unexpected places,” he said.

Kevin Arrigo, a professor of Earth system science and senior author of the paper, called the findings “important because they show how intimately linked the deep ocean and surface ocean can be.”